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Christmas Parenting and Easing the Stress

The Christmas holidays are usually a wonderful time of the year where families all get together and celebrate. However, for some separated families with children, these holidays may be a time of sadness, stress and bitterness.  There are ways that this can be managed with effective prior planning.

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How to get through the holidays and festivities after separation.

The spirit of Christmas is often exemplified when being with and around children. After you have separated, however, not being with your children can be difficult.

Here are #10 things to help you plan ahead and assist in getting through the holidays:

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The Christmas time struggle…

Christmas is meant to be a time for festive cheer, mulled wine (although perhaps not in 40 degrees!), celebrations and good old fashioned family time. However, for many separated parents, Christmas is a time for arguments, when they find themselves fighting over who gets the children on Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning, or both!

As Family Lawyers, we see this far too often and sadly, we also see it far too late. The Family Court has a cut-off date for Christmas contact applications (usually mid-November), and unfortunately, that date has now passed.

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The deadline for applying for Children's living arrangements over Xmas is fast approaching!

For almost every family, Christmas is a happy but stressful time. Whether it is ensuring there are no gift double-ups, Santa’s true identity remains undiscovered, or that there are no pistachios in the salad as Aunty Laura’s allergic, chaos is an expected part of the end of the year.

When mum and dad are no longer together the co-ordination and logistics become even more challenging. And that’s when they are getting along!

When parents are embroiled in a Family Court dispute, how children spend their Christmas, New Year’s Eve and the lengthy summer school holidays often become issues which cannot be resolved by discussion alone.

Because so many estranged couples seek the assistance of the Court to determine how their children will celebrate the holidays and spend their school break, the Court has strict rules regarding such applications. This year, all applications seeking orders regarding children’s living arrangements for the 2018/2019 Christmas school holiday period must be filed before 4pm on Friday 9 November 2018.

However, with the current backlog at the Family Court, it is recommended that you file your application well in advance of any proposed holiday or additional time with the children. Once your application is filed, it may be 6 weeks (or more) before a Court Hearing is listed. Accordingly, any urgent applications should specifically state the urgency in a detailed, yet concise, covering letter. 

The Family Law Team at Butlers are experienced in preparing and filing such applications and are ready to help. Don’t leave it too late, contact us now!

 

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